Clifford Goldstein will tell you that his family tree is full of typewriters, pens, and books. His blood is 50% hemoglobin and 50% ink. In the late 1970's Cliff was traveling the world writing his novel. Cliff ate, drank, and dreamt about his book. It was his life. He was sure it was going to catapult him into the Barnes and Nobel hall of fame.
While Cliff was traveling, he spent some time on a kibbutz in Israel where he ran into a group of people who believed that Y'shua is the Messiah. Cliff had met Christians in the USA, but he never expected to meet some on a kibbutz in Israel. During his college days, Cliff became so proficient at mocking a street preacher that his friends called him Heckle.
Cliff started to use his heckle routine on this group that were staying at the kibbutz. These guys were different. They were nice. They did not condemn Cliff to an eternity in a tar pit. They were friendly to him. To all his abuses they responded with kindness and love, so much so that Cliff's arguments against Y'shua were melted away and Cliff accepted Y'shua as his Messiah.
Cliff moved to Florida and was selling colored ice to sugar craving kids in order to support his writing habit. Every night he would type away. One night he felt a strong urge that God wanted him to give up his book. No way, was his immediate response. It could not be God that would ask him to give up the book, but Cliff knew the book had become his idol, his god. He had spent two years on his book.
There was nothing obscene or anti-God about the book – Cliff debated back and forth. Cliff knew in his heart that it stood between him and God. He had been playing with God. A little prayer here and there, a few minutes with the Bible every so often. But the book was his love; it got all the time and attention. Cliff walked through the night, but the conviction followed him – if he was going to get serious with God, the book had to go.
Finally he stopped and prayed, "I want you more than I want the book, but I don't have it in me to burn it. If you want it you are going to have to do it Yourself." Immediately a weight was lifted off his shoulders and a surge of excitement ran through him. All the worries, fears, and anxieties about what would happen to his life if he gave up the book disappeared. No bolt of lightning flew through the window to burn the stack of pages on the desk.
A few minutes earlier, if anyone would have tried to take the manuscript it would have cost them their life, but now Cliff was placing his life's dream on an electric hot plate. For two minutes nothing happened. No flame jumped from the pile of paper, nor did an angel from heaven stay Cliff's hand and tell him he passed the test. Eventually gray smoke began to ascend and the papers smoldered away for an hour before they were completely ashes. That night Cliff slept the sweet sleep of contentment.
It didn't happen overnight, but when it was clear that God was Cliff's first love, God blessed his writing career. He has written several books, many articles for periodicals, and has been the editor of Shabbat Shalom and Liberty magazines and a quarterly Bible study guide called The Sabbath School Quarterly.
Originally from: Jewish Discoveries by Jeff Zaremsky, pages 193-194, which contains a total of 22 fascinating chapters of biblical history and lessons plus 25 rich Jewish tradition sections, and 27 powerful testimonies, with over 40 beautifully rendered professional works of art all on over 300 jam packed pages Jewish Heritage.